What can I give, poor as I am?
if I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what can I give him? Give my heart. Christina Rossetti
Rossetti's moving poem, familiar to some as the final verse of the Christmas hymn "In the Bleak Midwinter", provides the inspiration for this work. The brief play opens with a tableau of the wise men placing their gifts before the crib of the Holy Child. As the wise men depart, young people come to the stage from the audience and contemplate the "gifts" they will bring. The dialogue is in choral form with a humorous rhyme scheme, making it easy to memorize.
If We Are Wise was specifically designed for junior high youth, a group that is often difficult to find suitable material for. With a simple setting and no costumes or props apart from those needed for the non-speaking magi tableau, this is an extremely versatile piece that can be performed in a variety of settings or by any number of youth (10 to 20 works best). Performance time for this work is approximately 15 minutes.
This dramatic program may be used any time during the Christmas season for any occasion in which junior high youth take part. It is a wonderful way to involve and spotlight them in your congregation's seasonal celebration. The play concludes with the young people returning to the audience as all sing "In the Bleak Midwinter"; all merging together in asking, exploring, and answering the question, "What can I give him?"